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ACCESSIBILITY AT MACERATA OPERA FESTIVAL: OUR SERVICES

In 2008, the Macerata Opera Festival launched an ambitious and unique accessibility project with the aim of providing its audience with a wide range of free access services. These services do not only make the opera experience but also the theatre itself, with its backstage areas, accessible to the widest possible audience, including those with special needs. Since 2008, all opera performances are audio described for blind or partially sighted people. In addition, the theatre opens its doors to the audience before all audio-described evening performances with fully guided tactile tours.

Since 2009, surtitles, are projected onto the big wall of the Arena Sferisterio, during all opera performances so that not only people with a hearing impairment but also the whole audience,  can easily follow the librettos.

Since 2016, in partnership with Museo Tattile Statale Omero (Ancona) and Unione Italiana Ciechi e Ipovedenti (Marche region), we organise the Sentieri di Arte e Musica tour for blind and partially sighted audience members, a tour throughout the Marche region and its natural gems. More information can be found on the Museo Tattile Statale Omero website.

Since 2017, two new worthy additions: the translated English version of the surtitles will be supplied for all opera performances and, in partnership with Ente Nazionale Sordi Macerata (Macerata Association for Deaf people), a sign-language-interpreted tour will guide the hearing impaired through the theatre, the stage, and its backstage areas. The tour also allows visitors to touch and play some of the instruments which will be used in the opera performance.

In 2017, the Macerata Opera Festival welcomed more than 250 blind, partially sighted, deaf, and hearing-impaired audience members from all over Italy.

For the current opera season, the new Sennheiser’s MobileConnect technology by Sennheiser Streaming Technologies, an industry leader in the field of audio devices, allows users to optimise not only the volume of the received audio signal but also intelligibility and sound quality in order to suit individual hearing needs.

ACCESSIBILITY TEAM

Coordinator: Elena Di Giovanni

Audio descriptions and tours: Francesca Raffi

Accessibility services and reception: Chiara Pazzelli

Sign-language interpreter: Consuelo Agnesi

ITALIAN AND INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS

Unione Italiana Ciechi e Ipovedenti (Macerata, Italy); Museo Statale Tattile Omero (Ancona, Italy); Ente Nazionale Sordi (Macerata, Italy); Università degli Studi di Macerata (Macerata, Italy); Montclair State University (New Jersey, USA).

TOUCH AND SIGN-LANGUAGE-INTERPRETED TOURS

Free Entry

Since 2011, touch tours take place before the audio described performance for all visitors, in particular for the blind and visually impaired. Visitors can touch various specially-made models and other tactile objects in order to gain a special awareness of the theatre, its history, and the operas which will be performed.

Since 2017, a sign-language-interpreted tour guides the hearing impaired through the theatre, the stage, and its backstage areas. This year, the tour will also allow visitors to touch and play some of the instruments which will be used in the opera performance. These are the available tours:

Friday 3 August: Costumes, wardrobe, make-up – This tour is organised in partnership with the wardrobe and make-up departments. After visiting the theatre, visitors can access the wardrobe and make-up departments to touch the costumes designed for the current season operas but also for past ones. Visitors can also put on the costumes and then receive 3D samples of the costumes themselves as a gift.

Saturday 4 August: Set and props – This tour is organized in partnership with the theatre technical staff. It allows visitors to touch elements of the set, examine some of the props, and gain a special and unique awareness of the acting and performance space. The tour is enriched with a sign-language-interpreting guide who will lead visitors with hearing impairment through the theatre, the stage, and the props.

Sunday 5 August: Instruments and orchestra – This tour is organised in partnership with the FORM orchestra. It allows visitors to touch and play some of the instruments which will be used in the opera performance. Visitors will also take part in an orchestra conductor simulation. The tour is enriched with a sign-language-interpreting guide

Additional information

All tours are offered free of charge but there are limited places available. Visitors are recommended to arrive around 6:15pm. The tour starts at the Arena Sferisterio entrance gates. Booking and further information: please contact us at arte.accessibile@unimc.it.

Arena Sferisterio – Macerata Opera Festival

Seat allocation for audience members with physical
impairment

Services offered to audience members with physical impairment also include personalized seat allocation:

  • Wheelchair Access

Atalls (red section), free personal ticket and discount on companion ticket (ticket price 25 Euros). There are up to 5 spaces for wheelchair users.

  • Other accessibility requirements

Audience members with other disabilities (and with an assessed degree of disability of 70% or more): stalls (red section), free personal ticket and discount on companion ticket (ticket price 25 Euros). There are up to 10 spaces available. It is possible to choose a different seat allocation with a 50% discount. There are further benefits for group bookings or bookings made by companies, with the possibility of buying a 1-euro ticket (25 Euros for companions) in lateral boxes.

For further information, please contact us by calling the ticket office: +39 0733 230735

Surtitles

Live surtitles are supplied for all opera performances, making the opera librettos accessible to all audience members, especially to the hearing impaired. Surtitles are projected onto both sides of the big wall of the Sferisterio Arena, blending harmoniously with the setting and lighting. Since 2017, the translated English version of the surtitles is also supplied for all opera performances, making the opera librettos accessible to all international audience members. The surtitling service is offered free of charge and there is no need to book in advance.

Audio description

Audience members follow the description on headphones, on loan free of charge, which are provided by the theatre and positioned behind the seats. Audio description is a verbal commentary for the blind and visually impaired audience, with the aim to increase the accessibility of the opera performance by providing a detailed synopsis of the work, a tailored description of the set design, the costumes, and of what is happening visually on stage. Our audio descriptions also include details provided by the artists themselves (director, costume designer, light designer, set designer, and many others), in order to highlight the style of and the ‘philosophy’ behind the production. Introductory descriptions are provided approximately 15 minutes before the start of the performance and four-five minutes before the end of each interval. During the performance, short descriptions of 2-3 seconds are delivered simultaneously without interfering with it.

For the current opera season, audio descriptions will be streamed directly and in real-time on users’ smartphones with the new Sennheiser’s MobileConnect technology (Sennheiser Streaming Technologies). Sennheiser MobileConnect streams audio content live directly to any smartphone, so that no additional hardware is necessary, and it allows to adjust the audio signal easily according to individual needs. You simply need to download and install the free MobileConnect app, which is available for both iOS and Android.

The pre-recorded introductory descriptions can be downloaded free as MP3 files and are also accessible for the deaf and hearing impaired. Audio description will be supplied for all opera performances. Additional information Tickets for all audio described performances are free for blind and partially sighted audience members, while a reduced-price ticket of 12.50 Euros is available for accompanying persons. Audience members are recommended to arrive around 8:40pm and take their seats in the Arena. The audio descriptions begin 15 minutes before the performance starts.

Tickets can be collected from the ticket office (Piazza Mazzini, 10 – 62100 Macerata – Tel: +39 0733 230735) before the performance nights. Booking and further information: please contact us at arte.accessibile@unimc.it.

Personal Hearing Assistant

The new Sennheiser’s MobileConnect technology (Sennheiser Streaming Technologies) allows users to optimise not only the volume of the received audio signal but also intelligibility and sound quality in order to suit individual hearing needs. The system streams audio content directly to any smartphone and it’s compatible with hearing aids, cochlea implants, and headphones. You simply need to download and install the free MobileConnect app, which is available for both iOS and Android. A reduced-price ticket is available for deaf and hearing-impaired audience members. Audience members are recommended to arrive around 8:40 pm and take their seats in the Arena.

ACCESSIBILITY PROGRAMME 2018

Friday 03 August “LA TRAVIATA”
At 6:15 pm Costumes, wardrobe, make-up tour, with sign-language-interpreting service
At 9:00pm La Traviata: audio described performance and personal hearing assistant

Saturday 04 AUGUST “IL FLAUTO MAGICO”
At 6:15pm Set and props touch tour
At 9:00pm Il Flauto magico: audio described performance and personal hearing assistant

Sunday 30 August “L’ELISIR D’AMORE”
At 6:15pm Instruments and orchestra tour with sign-language-interpreting service
At 9:00pm L’Elisir d’amore: audio described performance and personal hearing assistant

Audio description

Audience members follow the description on headphones, on loan free of charge, which are provided by the theatre and positioned behind the seats.

Audio description is a verbal commentary for the blind and visually impaired audience, with the aim to increase the accessibility of the opera performance by providing a detailed synopsis of the work, a tailored description of the set design, the costumes, and of what is happening visually on stage. Our audio descriptions also include details provided by the artists themselves (director, costume designer, light designer, set designer, and many others), in order to highlight the style of and the ‘philosophy’ behind the production.

Introductory descriptions are provided approximately 15 minutes before the start of the performance and four-five minutes before the end of each interval. During the performance, short descriptions of 2-3 seconds are delivered simultaneously without interfering with it.

The pre-recorded introductory descriptions can be downloaded free as MP3 files and are also accessible for the deaf and hearing impaired.

Audio description will be supplied for all opera performances at the Sferisterio, as well as Shi! at the Lauro Rossi Theatre.

Additional information

Tickets for all audio described performances are free for blind and partially sighted audience members, while a reduced-price ticket of 12.50 Euros is available for accompanying persons. Audience members are recommended to arrive around 8:40pm and take their seats in the Arena. The audio descriptions begin 15 minutes before the performance starts. Tickets can be collected from the ticket office (Piazza Mazzini, 10 – 62100 Macerata – Tel: +39 0733 230735) before the performance nights. Booking and further information: please contact us at arte.accessibile@unimc.it.

Accessibility Programme 2017

Friday 28 July “MADAMA BUTTERFLY”

At 6:30pm Set and props touch tour, with sign-language-interpreting service

At 9:00pm audio described performance

Saturday 29 July “TURANDOT”

At 6:30pm Costumes, wardrobe, make-up tour

At 9:00pm audio described performance

Sunday 30 July “AIDA”

At 6:30pm Instruments and orchestra tour

At 9:00pm audio described performance

Wednesday 2 August “SHI (to be)”

At 9:00am audio described performance

 

ACCESSIBILITY TEAM

Coordinator: Elena Di Giovanni

Surtitles director: Daniele Gabrielli

Audio descriptions and tours: Francesca Raffi

Accessibility services: Chiara Pazzelli

 

ITALIAN AND INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS

Unione Italiana Ciechi e Ipovedenti (Macerata, Italy); Museo Statale Tattile Omero (Ancona, Italy); Ente Nazionale Sordi (Macerata, Italy); Università degli Studi di Macerata (Macerata, Italy); Montclair State University (New Jersey, USA).

 

 

Audio description

Carmen, la stella del circo di Siviglia and visually impaired children

“Carmen, la Stella del Circo di Siviglia” is an educational-participatory opera performance put on by AsLiCo within the Opera Domani project (http://operadomani.org), which took “Carmen” to more than 20 Italian cities. The University of Macerata and the accessibility team of Macerata Opera Festival, in collaboration with Unione Italiana Ciechi e Ipovedenti (Marche region, Italy) carried out a project which aimed at making “Carmen” accessible to blind children. To this end, we organised a one-day workshop involving blind children and their sighted friends coming from all over the Marche region in order to both write and record together the audio description for the show. The project is the first of its kind in Italy – and in the world.

Accessibility 2017